Adventures in Bucharest: the World Senior Championship 2019

by Thorsten Cmiel
11/29/2019 – The World Senior Championships in Bucharest came to an end and with Vadim Shishkin (50+), Rafael Vaganian (65+), Elvira Berend (w50+), and Nona Gaprindashvili (w65+) the chess world now has four more World Champions. Thorsten Cmiel played in the 50+ Open and in his report talks about the tournament, what brilliancy prizes have to do with taste, and the dangers of taking a cab in Bucharest. | Photo: Rafael Vaganian | Tournament page | All other photos: Thorsten Cmiel

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World Senior Championship 2019

At the World Senior Championship in Bucharest Nona Gaprindashivili could add another title to her already impressive list of successes: she became Women's World Champion 65+. In the 50+ group — the "juniors" — reigning champion Elvira Berend defended her title without major problems.

The top three

Final standings w50+

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Berend Elvira 8,5 0,0
2 Bogumil Tatiana 7,5 0,0
3 Strutinskaia Galina 7,0 0,0
4 Grabuzova Tatiana 7,0 0,0
5 Makropoulou Marina 7,0 0,0
6 Schleining Zoya 6,5 0,0
7 Ankudinova Yelena 6,5 0,0
8 Baliuniene Margarita 6,5 0,0
9 Jicman Ligia-Letitia 6,5 0,0
10 Kasoshvili Tsiala 6,5 0,0
11 Sirotkina Nina 6,0 0,0
12 Birkholz Olga 6,0 0,0
13 Sheremetieva Marina 6,0 0,0
14 Krasenkova Ilena 5,5 0,0
15 Wagner-Michel Annett 5,5 0,0
16 Khropova Larisa 5,5 0,0
17 Milligan Helen 5,5 0,0
18 Adoamnei Roxana-Antonela 5,5 0,0
19 Radu Eudochia 2,5 0,5
20 Heid Magdalene 2,5 0,5
21 Monastyrenko Nataliya 1,0 0,0

Games w50+

 

The winners w65+

Final standings w65+

k. SNo     Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 1
 
GM Gaprindashvili Nona GEO 2275 8,5 0,0 64,5 67,0
2 2
 
WGM Fatalibekova Elena RUS 2152 8,0 0,5 65,0 67,5
3 4
 
WGM Kozlovskaya Valentina RUS 2130 8,0 0,5 62,5 65,0
4 7
 
WIM Tsifanskaya Ludmila A ISR 1981 7,5 0,0 58,5 59,5
5 5
 
WIM Burchardt Brigitte GER 2082 7,0 1,0 65,5 66,5
6 6
 
WIM Sorokina Tamara RUS 2064 7,0 1,0 61,5 62,5
7 10
 
  Pancu Aureliana-Eugenia ROU 1833 7,0 1,0 61,0 62,0
8 3
 
WIM Titorenko Natalia I RUS 2135 6,5 0,5 63,0 65,5
9 9
 
WFM Dotan Valeria ISR 1873 6,5 0,5 58,5 59,5
10 11
 
  Bujinlkham Purevdorj MGL 1794 5,5 0,0 55,5 56,5
11 8
 
  Serjmyadag Damdin MGL 1874 5,0 0,0 55,0 56,0
12 13
 
  Abdikasova Panu KAZ 1563 4,0 0,0 52,0 53,0
13 14
 
  Hrivnakova Anna SVK 1548 3,0 1,0 58,0 59,0
14 15
 
  Gandelman Ita ISR 1525 3,0 0,0 53,0 54,0
15 12
 
  Hoose Hannelore GER 1654 1,5 0,0 52,0 54,5

Games w65+

 

In the Open 65+ things were more exciting. Three players finished with 8½/11 and Rafael Vaganian won on tie-break. However, Carlos Garcia Palermo, who finished fourth but had a better tie-break than Vaganian, only narrowly missed the title. In the final round Garcia Palermo had good chances to win against Evgeny Sveshnikov but failed to convert his advantage.

Final standings 65+ (Top 20)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Vaganian Rafael A 8,5 0,0
2 Vaisser Anatoli 8,5 0,0
3 Balashov Yuri S 8,5 0,0
4 Garcia Palermo Carlos 8,0 0,0
5 Sveshnikov Evgeny 8,0 0,0
6 Kalegin Evgenij 8,0 0,0
7 Maryasin Boris 8,0 0,0
8 Okhotnik Vladimir 8,0 0,0
9 Stepovoj Vladimir 8,0 0,0
10 Jansa Vlastimil 8,0 0,0
11 Fernandez Garcia Jose Luis 7,5 0,0
12 Birnboim Nathan 7,5 0,0
13 Mochalov Evgeny V 7,5 0,0
14 Van Riemsdijk Herman C. 7,5 0,0
15 Kristiansen Jens 7,5 0,0
16 Shirazi Kamran 7,5 0,0
17 Shevelev Arkady 7,5 0,0
18 Berkovich Mark A 7,5 0,0
19 Renman Nils-Gustaf 7,5 0,0
20 Karason Askell O 7,0 0,0

The winners 65+

Games 65+

 

The 50+ Open was decided by points, not by tie-break. After 11 rounds GM Vadim Shishkin was clear first with 9.0/11.

Final standings 50+ (Top 20)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Shishkin Vadim 9,0 0,0
2 Nevednichy Vladislav 8,5 0,5
3 Morovic Fernandez Ivan 8,5 0,5
4 Movsziszian Karen 8,0 0,0
5 Marin Mihail 7,5 0,0
6 Georgiev Kiril 7,5 0,0
7 Soffer Ram 7,5 0,0
8 Young Angelo 7,5 0,0
9 Lima Darcy 7,5 0,0
10 Bagaturov Giorgi 7,5 0,0
11 Sturua Zurab 7,5 0,0
12 Managadze Nikoloz 7,5 0,0
13 Pavlovic Milos 7,5 0,0
14 Yermolinsky Alex 7,5 0,0
15 Psakhis Lev 7,5 0,0
16 Badea Bela 7,5 0,0
17 Shabalov Alexander 7,5 0,0
18 Godena Michele 7,0 0,0
19 Mannion Stephen R 7,0 0,0
20 Rinas Oleg 7,0 0,0

Winners 50+

Games Open 50+

 

The brilliancy prize

The brilliancy prize in Bucharest was named after Viktor Kupreichik (3 July 1949 – 22 May 2017) to honour the attacking skills of the Belorussian Grandmaster. However, brilliancy prizes are a matter of taste. In Bucharest, it went to Mihail Marin for his convincing win against Milos Pavlovic.

 

However, I think Kupreichik would have given the prize to the Indian Prasad Devaki for his game against Sergei Ivanov. In this game the Indian showed courage and intuition to overcome the defence of his opponent.

 

Touristic adventures

As the playing venue was on the edge of town but felt to be in the middle of nowhere, you had to take a taxi if you wanted to go to town. This was a relatively short ride and usually cost about four to five euros. However, the way back to the hotel often turned out to be more tricky as the prizes for the cab rides varied wildly and some drivers asked four or five times as much as for the way to town, often without starting the meter or manipulating it. Taking the bus or the metro was less expensive but also not without risks as the wife of a player had to find out: when she arrived at her destination she realized that pickpockets had stolen her wallet.

The arbiters

The arbiters in Romania often spoke hardly any English which sometimes led to problems. And the main arbiters was part of one of the most bizarre occurrences I have ever seen at a chess tournament. In a game between two grandmasters the players were coming close to move sixty and one of the arbiters gave both players a now score sheet because the original score sheet had only room for 60 moves. But when he saw that the players had not yet reached move 60 the main arbiter had the somewhat surprising idea to get hold of the new scoresheets. One of the grandmasters who had less than two minutes on the clock tried to defend the scoresheet which he knew he would need soon. But he main arbiter did not let go of the sheet. The grandmaster looked at the arbiter, made a short gesture of despair and gave up the ridiculous fight.

A little later, after White had made his 60th move, the main arbiter gave White a new score sheet, and after Black had made his 60th move, he did the same.

Another incident involved honorary FIDE Vice President Ian Wilkinson, a lawyer and King's Counsel by profession.

Ian Wilkinson

Wilkinson was playing against an International Master and saw that the digital clock was not working properly. An arbiter had to come, stop the clock and readjust it. Wilkinson's opponent was to move and had little time left on the clock. Understandably, Wilkinson asked his opponent to leave the board while the clock was adjusted. However, the International Master refused to do so and the arbiter saw no reason to intervene.

The attractivness of the World Senior Championships

The FIDE has massively increased the prize fund for the World Senior Championships which attracted a number of strong players. After initial plans to play the Championships in a far removed town — which would have been an entirely unattractive venue — the organizers decided to stage the tournament in Bucharest and let all participants stay in the players' hotel. Which had advantages and disadvantages. A lot of participants would have preferred to stay in a more lively area. Moreover, having breakfast, lunch and dinner at a middle-class hotel for almost 14 days in a row is also not to everybody's taste.

The next World Senior Championships will be played in Assisi (Italy) in 2020. Probably, there will be no hotel for all players and the participants will be able to pick a hotel of their choice.

And in his speech at the winner's ceremony Ian Wilkinson promised even more improvements for coming World Senior Championships.

Translation from German: Johannes Fischer

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Thorsten Cmiel is FIDE Master, lives in Cologne and Milano and works as a freelance finance journalist.
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ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 11/30/2019 09:15
kudos to devaki prasad for the brilliancy .... remember he beat tal in the final round of the subotica interzonals ...as the result, tal couldn't qualify for the candidates!
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